MBA for Canon 5D Mark II H.264 1080P Videos

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by vcuares, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. vcuares macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2008
    I'm keen on a REV A. Again, it is a budget issue. Posted this on the Cinema5D but it seems no one has responded to have this camera/laptop combo.

    I have a Octo mac pro, so no editing will be done on the MBA. I just want it to play the raw H.264 movies on the MBA.

    I've read that the rev B has H.264 acceleration, I can't seem to find it on the Rev A.

    For your reference here are some sample videos

    Video Page - to get the file use SAVE LINK AS

    Direct 1
    Direct 2
    Direct 3

    To summarize:
    1) Will it play smoothly with the base rev A? Otherwise, what specs did you have rev B, hdd, ssd, processor?
    2) base unibody Macbook is in the same price range and there is H.264 accel and I'm considering it too although I prefer the form factor of the MBA.

  2. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Jul 29, 2005
    Here you go. It is a base Rev A Macbook Air. The FPS never goes to 30. The CPU is running on max. My computer started heating up. Sooner or later one of the cores will be shut off to cool down the computer.

    For Macbook 13" users, start your mud

    Attached Files:

  3. vcuares thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2008
    paraparafreakx, thanks a lot! love the way you presented the results, although a bit disheartening :) as I was rooting for the base MBA.

    Anyone with a rev A 1.8Ghz, Base Rev B, Base Unibody Macbook?
  4. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Jul 29, 2005
    As a pro user, I know what info your looking for when it comes to looking up what you want to buy.

    The Rev B Macbook Air should be the perfect fit. I was going to upgrade to a Rev B but I am saving for a Mac Pro, upgrade from Intuos 3 to Intuos 3 and another 24" monitor.
  5. Knipperdolling macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2009
    Here´s the rev. B 1,86 SSD info: runs perfectly fine, constant at 30 fps. Takes about 40% CPU power.
    While testing, I did a skype call with video in parallel, as seen in the activity monitor. Did not affect the playback.

    Attached Files:

  6. Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

    Sep 15, 2004
    i(am in the)cloud
  7. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    As far as I know, you have to go rev B for hardware encoding of h.264... I think it was made as a big deal when the rev B MBA along with unibody MBs and MBPs were announced.

    Also, I would highly recommend the SSD for large files. The 4200 rpm hard drive will not be speedy at any level with the large files.

    I know you may want to save money, but I really recommend you reconsider. The A is not going to be fun for your needs. Not even with Cool Book, reapplying thermal paste, and all of the updates in the world.

    You could buy a unibody MB refurbished for $1099, but the display is really inferior to either of the MBA displays.

    Bottom line, is it is going to cost you $2149 for a refurbished rev B MBA with SSD. I don't think you would be happy with the HDD model even with rev B MBA.

    Good luck.
  8. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Jul 29, 2005
    Look at the difference. 173% cpu use on my Rev A with Knipperdolling Rev B only pulling 40ish% with a skype call.

    Damn, if only I waited for a rev b.
  9. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    ^ Let's be clear 40% ish with a Rev B SSD. Rev B HDD here and it ran at about 80% consistently at 62ºC. I ran the video 5 times prior to reporting the results from the 6th run. I had mail running, which was updating 3 days of e-mail use and my time machine backup running to an external USB drive.
  10. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Yes, that is very accurate. Hey I bought the original MBA and upgraded to the rev B. Mine was stolen like eleven days ago. It has been a rough eleven days. I am definitely missing it.

    I think you would benefit tremendously by selling your original and upgrading to the rev B.

    Every major component was upgraded in the rev B MBA.
  11. roslee7 macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2006
    why i cant save the video? so that quality is a Hi definition video right coz i am looking for a camcorder.not sure if i want to buy standard definition which is cheaper or Hi definition
  12. vcuares thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2008
    I'm leaning on the Rev B now. The killer is the dropped frames for the Rev A and the thermal shutdown if I play longer clips.

    Just to make sure, is Jessica's the 1.6Ghz HDD model? I found a good deal on a new one for $1450. Seems like its playing at 80% which gives the CPU 120% left as headroom. Should I go for this?

    As for saving the file, do a right-click (or control-click?)on the links then save as.
  13. tubbymac macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2008
    Neither the Air rev A or the unibody MB are well suited to HD video, if that's your primary focus. The unibody MB can do it but the screen sucks. I'd go with the rev B, and yes I think Jessica has the 1.6/120 gig model.
  14. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Even if you could get the original MBA to work for you now, how about a year down the road. We all expect more and more from our Macs daily. Our entertainment needs grow, and the file sizes shoot through the roof. And apps require more and more resources. And even software updates could make the original MBA obsolete long before the rev B.

    I think you will be much happier now, with heat and less troubles, and in the future with a fully functioning MBA rev B!

    Please do tell us all exactly what you think of whichever you buy after three weeks of use.
  15. vcuares thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2008
    I hate to say this but Scottsdale was spot-on on the Rev B. =) I'm now writing this on a brand new HDD 1.6GHz. Here's my report.

    5D raw H.264 video is notorious to be resource hog, a lot of users report that their computer can't handle playing clips and have to upgrade. There are other 1080p formats that use way lesser resources. I guess the tradeoff there is to increase file size so there is lesser CPU resource needs and retain quality or compressed even more but get lesser data to play with.

    Tried the following at the Apple Store

    1.6 Rev B - mysterious

    • sometimes plays at full 30fps but sometimes it doesn't. This is after trying several videos
    • it is not video specific, the same clip plays perfect but sometimes it doesn't
    • temp reaches 160F, my guess is that the Air is throttling the CPU down
    • bitrate for 5D videos maxes out at 7MB/s which HDDs have no problem handling even my slow 133x CF card can handle these speeds.

    1.8 Rev B - plays perfect
    2.4 MB - plays perfect

    My mini review of my 1.6Ghz Rev B
    - My use is 90% surfing, 5% 5D videos, 5% non critical photo editing.
    - display is nice, colors are good
    - viewing angle sucks, changes color with slight angle shifts
    - display is indeed better than MB
    - after checking Lagom, it clips black and white levels a bit, thereby giving artificially better contrast. This after calibration with a Spyder2Pro. I might need to redo this.

    Overall, I'm a happy camper with the 1.6, I've experienced thermal shutdowns with at least two laptops and I know it is not a pleasant experience. It introduces all sorts of problems - slowdowns, reliability, fans getting overworked and failing earlier than usual and thereby needs replacing. I would have gone for the 1.8 SSD but I've already stretched my budget from $1100 to $1450 and I need a laptop now.

    Thanks everyone for the help!

    PS. What is the gray line issue, I've got a 9C90. I see a hint of moire/screen door effect but I'm not sure if that is what they are referring to. It is not very noticeable though.
  16. vcuares thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2008

    I've updated quicktime and it is now playing well with the 1.6B. I remember quicktime having 5d specific updates before. Now it plays at perfect 30fps.
  17. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    The rev B is a really solid computer.

    That is one nice computer isn't it? Are you as happy as you thought you would be now? Please keep us updated on the performance you see.

    I have tried to tell people that the rev B MBA is the only way to go for most people. When I see someone trying to decide, I push pretty hard for the rev B. For most people, if they cannot decide, they need/should buy the rev B.

    I think the original MBA refurbished is for people who are very aware of the past problems, complications, potential solutions, and plan to use it knowing full well of its limitations and work around those limitations.

    A lot of people say the rev B MBA isn't worth the extra money. In my opinion, that is a foolish argument. The original MBA refurbished is being purchased by a different segment of the market than the MBA was intended. The intended buyers of the MBA are buying the rev B MBA and the extra money is well worth the value and return in performance and capabilities from the rev B MBA.

    Best wishes with your new MBA!

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